Happy Meal for One Lovefool
My favorite song on The Cardigans’ First Band on the Moon album is not “Lovefool”.
For those of you still reading, thank you. Yes, “Lovefool” is a great song that livens any wedding or karaoke sesh but I’m sorry it’s not my fave. My favorite song is a less upbeat, shorter track that plays three songs earlier, “Happy Meal II”.
When I was 11 years old (holy shit I can’t believe I’ve been listening to this album for over 20 years), I liked it for the creepy organ; the slow, building drums; the part where Nina says ‘bubbles’. Sure, I still like the song for those reasons but I like it even more now that I understand the anticipation Nina is singing about.
Arrange my books in order
Make up some nice stories to amuse you
Make things look smart and easy
Shape up the place
Hungry for the meeting
The dinner we'll be eating
Wine that we'll be drinking
And kinky thoughts I'm thinking
All because of you
Nina is preparing her place for a visitor and it sounds like it will be a visitor of the ‘sex’ variety. She’s tidying up, thinking of what fun stories she’ll tell and getting lost in her imagination about where the night will go.
During my first and only year of living on my own, I’ve had similar moments like this. Getting my apartment ready for someone who I had I certain intentions with. Finding fun in anticipating our ‘dance’ around my apartment. No, I don’t take baths with bubbles (bathtub + old building + many tenants + no matter how hard I scrub it looks dirty = showers only for Carolyn) but I do relate to making things look smart and easy.
There’s a moment of excitement when someone sees my place. I love hearing them say things like, “Neat space!” or “Wow. Big kitchen.” or my favorite “Dang girl, you have 3 closets?” I love when I cook but the only evidence of this are the lingering smells and leftovers in the fridge. No crusty pots or pans or sauce-stained stove. No, my dishes are already drying in the rack. My countertops wiped. My place is shaped.
I watch them peer around out as my perfect playlist plays. I perch cooly on the edge of my couch pretending I always sit like a cat and purr:
Would you like a glass of water? Need a shower? Go for it. I have extra towels. Floss? Q-tips? Oh, that? That’s a photo from my trip to Germany last year. Yes, I’ve been to Europe. Let’s turn on the TV. I’ll grab the remote that’s not a game controller. What’s your poison? Hulu? Netflix? Prime? I got it all.*
But I've found that when my little show and tell ends, my excitement also ends. I no longer want to lead the next part of the night. My dominance quickly turning into Shows over, now what?
I’ve been trying to figure out what this means. Why the main reason I like bringing people home isn’t for making the kinky thoughts I’m thinking a reality, it’s for showing them my shit and how together it is. What type of person does this make me? What sort of things am I looking for? Why don’t I relate to the later lyrics of “Happy Meal II”?
And now I've found a partner
No one can be happier than I am
And now I've found a new friend
No one can be happier than me
Is this temporary? Am I just enjoying this new phase of adulting until the right, or better, person fits into the life I created? Or am I wired to find fulfillment in different ways? Am I nesting for the perfect partner or for the perfect me?
Whatever the answer is, I hope to embrace it fully. I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out. I don’t want to feel like I’m wrong. What I expected out of relationships, love, and sex is certainly not what I thought ten years ago and definitely not what I thought at 11 years old. I never expected my matches above the toilet or clean kitchen to be the things that get me off but right now they are. No, I haven’t found a partner but I’ve found a new friend in my home, a new friend in myself and right now that makes me very happy, Miss Nina.
*Okay, I admit. I don’t have HBO.
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